Vacation time again! This time I am on a cruise on the Persian Gulf with my mother on the occasion of her 70th birthday. We left on Friday night and arrived early on Saturday morning. The flight to Dubai took only 5,5 hours - which meant that I got very little sleep that night.
Boarding the ship went quite smoothly and we arrived just in time for breakfast after which we went to rest for a while.

We're on the Costa Favolosa, a big Italian cruise ship. So there are many Italian guests on board but also people from all over the world. The food is mostly Italian - and there seems to be an endless amount of it available at any time of the day! There's always a buffet open somewhere... Luckily there are also a lot of activities and I join the aerobics / stretching class on the open deck every day (unless I am on an excursion).

We're in a different port almost every day. On Sunday we arrived in Muscat - my first time in the Oman, a place I had wanted to go to for a long time. My first view of it was of course the harbour.

We participaded in a day long excursion that took us to different places. The drive itself was interesting too because of the fascinating landscape. It's very dry, but you can see the different layers of stones that come from ancient volcanic activities. So the mountains have all kinds of shades, red, green, beige, grey...

We went to see a small town with a market.

And we also visited a fort with a great round view.

Our next stop was Jabreen Castle, a nice building, even though a bit empty.

Since I went to bed early after this exhausting tour, I woke up early on Tuesday and went to practice some of my Bharatanatyam dances. I found a deck that isn't much used so I had lots of space to dance by myself with a view to the port.

Then we took the shuttle bus into Fujairah. It's not a particularly interesting town, but we did some shopping and I found some nice Indian clothes.

This might not be the obvious choice, but there are many Indians living here, often also working as drivers and tour guides. At times I feel more like I am in India!

Since it was my mother's birthday we went to eat a very nice meal in the first class restaurant on the ship.

Actually, we only borrowed this cake from somebody else for the picture :-)